Greta Thunberg has, in little more than a year, established herself as one of the top advocates for environmental conservation. Thunberg is fearless, and she doesn’t alter her message no matter who she is addressing. She wants the climate crisis to be addressed now, and she won’t stop until her dream is realized.

Thunberg’s popularity rose when she boycotted school to engage in protests calling for action against global warming. She went on to address the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Greta is now viewed as a world leader, but there are key figures opposed to her message. She was recently named as Time‘s Person of the Year for 2019.

Greta wouldn’t be where she is today without the support from home. Greta’s parents are her biggest fans and motivators. Read on to find out how they have dealt with Greta’s ambitions and how Greta has affected life at home.

Malena Ernman is an opera singer while Svante Thunberg is an actor and producer

Svante Thunberg and Malena Ernman

Malena and Svante raised Greta alongside her younger sister Baeta. Malena Ernman was born on 4th November 1970, and she is an opera singer. She studied music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and she is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. She represented Sweden at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.

Ernman is widely regarded as one of the best opera singers Sweden has to offer. She made her debut at the Salzburg festival in 2006 as Anno in La clemenza di Tito. She sang La Voix by Fredrik Kempe at the 2009 Eurovision Contest, and she emerged 21st with 33 points.

Greta’s dad is less famous than her mom, but he is also a performer. Svante is best known for his role in the TV series Skargardsdoktorn which ran from 1997 to 2000. He also serves as Ernman’s manager.

Greta influenced her parents to become more conscious about the environment

Malena Ernman and Greta Thunberg

Before appearing on the global and national stage, Greta had to change things at home. She convinced her parents to become vegans and to stop using airplanes. According to Express, Greta said;

“Quite much, in the beginning, they were like everyone else. They were like, ‘don’t worry, someone will invent something in the future – people have this under control. But then I made them feel so guilty, I kept telling them that they were stealing our future and they cannot stand up for human rights while living that lifestyle, so that they decided to make those changes.”

Greta’s parents have since become champions for environmental conservation. In 2017, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) named Malena the Environmental Hero of the Year. According to The Sun, Malena stated the following after WWF’s recognition;

“My small role in the environment movement is as a public person trying to lend my voice to those who are not heard in the media noise. No other issue is more important or more difficult to spread.”

Malena and Svante allowed Greta to go for protests

Greta Thunberg
Pacific Press/Getty Images

In 2018, Greta decided to skip school to protest outside Sweden’s parliament in central Stockholm. She claimed that she was doing so because she wanted politicians to prioritize the climate change question.

Greta’s protests caused a bit of outrage, with some people stating that she should be in school rather than protesting outside parliament. In other quarters, Greta received praise for her commitment to a worthy cause. It also turned out that Greta’s parents agreed with her cause. Svante told The Guardian;

“Greta forced us to change our lives. I didn’t have a clue about the climate. We started looking into it, reading all the books – she has read them too. She is supposed to be in school, we cannot support her action. But we respect that she wants to make a stand. She can either sit at home and be really unhappy, or protest and be happy.”

Greta’s parents must be happy that they let her protest. Greta is now the face of environmental conservation all around the world.

Greta’s parents authored a book about her condition

Greta Thunberg

Before Greta became famous, her parents wrote a book about a time when Greta was plagued with an obsessive-compulsive disorder and a severe eating disorder. The book, Scenes From the Heart, also praised Greta’s keen eye for the environment. Part of the book reads;

“She was part of that minority of people who were able to see carbon with the naked eye … She saw the emissions coming out from our chimneys getting carried by the wind, turning the atmosphere into a giant, invisible landfill.”

The Thunberg family also authored a book titled Our House Is On Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis. The book is set to be released in March 2020. Part of the book’s summary on GoodReads says;

“This is the story of a family led to confront a crisis they had never foreseen. Aged eleven, their eldest daughter has stopped eating and speaking. Alongside a diagnoses of autism and selective mutism, her parents slowly become aware of another source for her distress: her imperiled future on a rapidly heating planet.”